When you’re a consumer-facing company, it’s important to remember the responsibilities that come with that designation – keeping up with the Joneses, sustaining the happiness of your employees and clearly delivering your overall brand message to the public. A key way to accomplish all of the above is choosing the right Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative that aligns with your business model.
As we have already seen, CSR programs are becoming key fabrics of any successful business. The realization that companies can and should play an important role in their communities—and across the nation and around the world—while making a profit, is quite a step up from the past.
That is awesome news because strategic corporate social responsibility executed well is effective corporate social responsibility.
Since I absolutely hate negative examples, let me share two positive ones. Take Skype’s social good initiative, Skype in the Classroom. Skype in the Classroom came into existence quite organically. Various teachers all over the world sent emails to Skype saying they used the service to share stories and projects with other classrooms around the world.
From the overwhelming response, Skype created Skype in the Classroom, a free global community that invites teachers to use Skype to connect their students with others to collaborate on classroom projects, as well as share ideas and inspiration. So far, Skype in the Classroom has 28,000 members and growing.
Another favorite is Godiva’s newly launched CSR program. As homage to their leading courageous heroine, the company recently launched the Lady Godiva program. This national and local campaign celebrates women who give back to their communities and inspire others with their selflessness, generosity and leadership.
This US program will recognize an inspiring woman and support the national charity that she is passionately committed to. Godiva will also launch a local component through an online community, where regional nominations will be shared and allow Godiva to recognize and honor local community leaders and their causes.
As you can see from Skype and Godiva, these companies strategically chose the right CSR initiatives because they kept these three ideals in mind:
- The right CSR initiatives can increase your brand equity
- CSR does improve consumers’ view of firms when it’s seen as a good fit and socially motivated
- The most successful CSR programs are the ones that have consumer engagement
So, take note my fellow CSR hunters and choose wisely.